Blog Archives

Convert Video to and from Adobe Flash .FLV format

The first three tools are Windows specific, with the last being cross-platform and especially necessary for linux users.

Super11
Link: http://www.videohelp.com/tools/SUPER
Not well known, but very robust software with good features and overall good functionality.

Riva FLV Encoder
Link: http://rivavx.com/?encoder
Similar to Any Video Converter (listed below). Depending on your needs, compare with Any and/or combine for best results. If you’re expecting some loss in quality and the end user won’t be watching playback in large streamed content then this or Any Video should work good for you.

Any Video Converter
Link: http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/
Good free product which gets the job done. A little less robust than Super in my opinion, and very similar to Riva as I stated above, but easier to use and probably better for quick youtube edits and uploads.

Adobe Media Encoder
Link: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/quickstart/video_encoder.html
This product does the job pretty well, and I have personally used it for managing some quicktime and .flv video conversions. Visually it is more impressive than the others, but I found overall speed to actually be a bit slower after various testing. There were also some issues on .flv’s that didn’t play audio or video properly after conversion which seemed to work in other editors/converters. Especially interesting in these cases is the videos were output from another Adobe product.. Overall very surprised that Adobe didn’t come out on top with regards to their own platform.

FFmpeg
Link: http://www.ffmpeg.org/
FFmpeg is really at the core of much video conversion on the web, including some of those listed above. If you can master utilizing this tool from command line, or if you’re natively on linux, this is for you. Searching for ffmpeg GUI or frontend will also return some good results if you’re rather not run the commands manually.

Flash and Silverlight Coverflows

After reviewing a few different flash coverflows, stumbled across the following:

Flash gallery:
http://flash-gallery.com/?c=104&gclid=CPTvuPDCj6cCFUHt7QodfwQFbw

Weber Design Labs:
http://www.weberdesignlabs.com/blog/2007/09/flash-itunes-cover-flow-version-2/

Flash XML:
http://www.flashxml.net/cover-flow.html

Flash Components.Net:
http://www.flashcomponents.net/components/flash_galleries_and_slide_shows/flash_stack_and_coverflows.html

If you’re not opposed to silverlight however, I encourage you to check this one out by Telerik:
http://www.telerik.com/products/silverlight/coverflow.aspx

Run SWF Files from an EXE

SWF/Flash files may be embedded into an executable a number of ways, using:

Adobe Flash Platform
Adobe Air
MDM Zinc
Northcode SWF Studio

Adobe Flash and Air refer to the published executable as projectors, and both can be packaged using the Adobe Flash Platform or Air.

Zinc and SWF Studio are both 3rd party products which offer similar functionality. In my opinion, Zinc is the greater of the two products, as it offers support for Windows, Mac and Linux! It also has an API/framework for utilizing WinForms functionality such as launching modal form windows using actionscript. The API is packaged into the executable, so a clean standalone file is still all that is needed for deployment.

SWF Studio is more of an “out of the box” product, which functions as is for what it is needed for. Some may favor it due to its simplicity and ease of user interface, which on the surface seems to have a bit more features.

Ultimately, I went with Adobe Air in my particular scenario, which was definitely the most complex of the solutions, but provided the best compatibility by far (obviously) and the best one to get to work with SWF files that wrapped other SWF files multiple layers deep.

Brief addendum:
Initially I developed a custom .Net solution which loaded the SWF file inside of a form, (webbrowser object in winforms or frame in wcf) but the dependency on .Net and furthermore, Mono, in Mac/Linux systems posed as a problem since the delivery of the player needed to fit on CD/DVD alongside the videos, with very little space to spare for adding in additonal frameworks.

References
Adobe Flash Platform, http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/
Adobe Air, http://www.adobe.com/products/air/
MDM Zinc, http://www.multidmedia.com/software/zinc/
Northcode SWF Studio, http://www.northcode.com/
Mono-Project, http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page